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Re: Some questions regarding some of our customs ...

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_be.com)
Date: Tue Oct 12 1999 - 14:20:10 PDT

Sorry, a couple more words of a personal note on the
various forms of doing "sEvippu" or "dandam samarpaNam", 
prostrating like a stick of wood in front of elders
and PerumaaL.

Having grown up in a Vadagalai household, I have always
done "sEvippu" two or four times, as instructed by my
parents. I have never felt comfortable doing it only
once in Thengalai fashion  -- it somehow feels incomplete
to me. However, I have also found it strange to see some 
Vadagalai people fall down and hurriedly and immediately 
get up, and do this countless times. They even get tired
in the process, as they take no rest when they are down!
This also seemed to my eye to lack some bhAvam, as they
didn't even stay down at the Lord's feet (no criticism 
intended. All forms are appropriate. This is just personal 
reaction).

Avoiding either one of these problems, I follow my father's 
practice as well as that of my acharya, Sri Rangapriya Swami.
I do two namaskArams, as my tradition specifies, but for each 
I spend a considerable time on the ground. My father used to
instruct us to say some slokam asking for the Lord's protection
while doing this, such as 
"anyathA SaraNam nAsti, tvam eva SaraNam mama |
 tasmAt kAruNya bhAvena, raksha! raksha! janArdana ||"  or

"aparAdha sahasra bhAjanam patitam bhIma bhavArNavodare |
 agatim SaraNAgatam hare! kRpayA kevalam AtmasAt kuru ||"

Rangapriya Swami is invariably reciting the name "Narayana,
Narayana", and he continues to do this during his slow, solemn
prostrations.

So, perhaps there are three ways of doing namaskAram?
(Just kidding).

daasan,
Mani